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BANN: As You Like It

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While BANN is decidedly a jazz group, it’s also one that flirts with fusion and occasionally hints at rock. Tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, bassist Jay Anderson, guitarist Oz Noy and drummer Adam Nussbaum-“BANN” combines their surname initials-know their way around all kinds of music, interweaving transformations of tunes by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Thelonious Monk and Joe Henderson with originals like the funky, group-composed title track; Noy’s bluesy, dreamy “Minor Shuffle” (shades of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk” here); and Anderson’s sultry “At Sundown.”

There’s nothing frenetic about As You Like; rather, there is urgency and authority. Check Blake on “At Sundown,” as he builds an increasingly complex, crying excursion over Noy’s minimalist chording. Then Noy steps in, his sound simultaneously widescreen and tentative (the Israeli-born guitarist is the voicing master of this group), ratcheting up the tension that informs the tune. Noy loads the notes here, his solo rocking hard. Nevertheless, “Sundown” never deteriorates into showboating; BANN knows when to apply pressure and when to lay back.

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